Series: Serafina #3
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 1, 2018
Genres: Coming of Age, Fantasy & Magic, Historical Fiction, Mystery & Detective
Format: Paperback, Hardcover, eBook
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Buy on: Audible
The storms are coming.... Something has happened to Serafina. She has awoken into a darkness she does not understand, scarred from a terrible battle, only to find that life at Biltmore Estate has changed in unimaginable ways. Old friends do unthinkable things and enemies seem all around.A mysterious threat moves towards Biltmore, a force without a name, bringing with it violent storms and flooding that stands to uproot everything in its path. Serafina must uncover the truth about what has happened to her and find a way to harness her strange new powers before it's too late. With only days to achieve the impossible, Serafina fights to reclaim herself as the Guardian of Biltmore, friend of Braeden, daughter of her Pa, and heroine of the Blue Ridge Mountains and all the folk and creatures that call it home. In the epic third installment of Robert Beatty's #1 bestselling series, Serafina takes her rightful place among literary champions as she battles fiercely to defend all she loves and become everything that she is meant to be.
I bought my first Serafina novel at one of the schools I worked at during the book fair. It sounded interesting, I wanted to support the school, and I knew my students would enjoy reading it once I was done. The book more than lived up to my expectations, and I’ve been a fan of the series ever since. Serafina and the Splintered Heart picks right up after the events of the previous novel, or does it? When we meet Serafina in this novel, everything around her seemingly has changed. Her friends appear to be enemies. Serafina, herself, seems different and in possession of new powers. But one thing that hasn’t changed is that Biltmore Estate seems to be under another attack by a dark force. Even though much of the storyline seems familiar, Robert Beatty manages to make it seem like new.
One thing I enjoy most about this novel is the characters. They are very complex than you may expect for a middle grade novel. Serafina, Braeden, and others are not all that they seem, and can surprise you even after two novels. Like real people, their past experiences have shaped them and made them grow. This is great, because Beatty is able to drive the plot forward through its characters, allowing this world he’s built to be easily visualized by the reader.
But What was power? she wondered. Was it the weapons and tools to act, or the ability to think? Was it talking to someone, or doing something? If you only have a small amount of power, and you’re only able to do the tiniest, most insignificant things, does that mean you’re powerless? Or with that tiny power, do you have all the power in the world?Serafina and the Splintered Heart Pg. 99
The pacing of the book was really well done. It moved steadily throughout the book, while heightening tension in all the right places. I never felt like the book was dragging, or that scenes went on longer than necessary. The action scenes played out within the confines of Beatty’s world, and all of the characters behaved in ways previously acknowledged. While there were plenty of twists-and-turns to the story, none of them made characters behave uncharacteristically.
While you could read this novel as a standalone, many of the plot points are carried over from the first two novels, and it would be beneficial to read them first. I will admit that before I figured out what was really happening, I was disappointed by how things were shaping up. However, once I discovered the reasons behind events and characters, I really enjoyed this novel. It’s not my favorite of the three that I’ve read thus far, but it’s definitely a must-read for fans of this series.